Scaling up PH trades training

13 May 2022 by Jason Quinn

New Zealand needs more tradespeople, full stop. But we also need tradies with skills and experience of building the Passive House way, especially as larger certified projects get underway. 

In the UK, a large construction firm developed their own training and to date more than two thousand tradies have earned their “Passivhaus Passport”. This seems to be shorter and more focused compared to the PHI training (offered in New Zealand by PHANZ) that culminates in becoming a certified Passive House tradesperson.

Keir is a UK construction and infrastructure services firm and it built the first certified Passive House leisure centre in the UK. Joe O’Connell is a Keir senior project manager and explains the Passivhaus Passport in a blog post here, which is worth a read in full.

“It’s the certification that Kier has developed for its operatives, achieved after they completed a series of theoretical and practical training modules related to Passivhaus construction and specific to their trade. Essentially it was their ‘pass’ to be able to work on the site and the fact that they had obtained their passport was marked on their induction. As Passivhaus is still in its relative infancy within the industry, it’s an important milestone for people to add to their skills and experience.”

I’m impressed that they customized the training for specific sub-trades but also talked about why Passive House was worth doing, explaining the benefit to occupants, the wider community and the environment. 

And this is enlightened, for a private operator: “The upskilling of the supply chain also means that they can take this knowledge and experience to other jobs in the future.”

I expect this initiative will significantly impact building quality in their part of the UK. Once you learn a better way, it can be hard to go back to building (or designing) like you used to.

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